FAQs: C203™ – 2017, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services for Commissioning


Does the AIA offer an agreement between an owner and a commissioning provider?

Yes, C203–2017, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services for Commissioning. C203–2017 is a scope of services document only and must be attached as an exhibit to C103™–2015.


Can C203–2017 be used by itself?

No, C203–2017 is a scope of services document only and must be attached as an exhibit to C103–2015, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Consultant without a Predefined Scope of Consultant’s Services.


How is C203–2017 different from the previous commissioning document (B211™–2007)?

C203–2017 replaces B211–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Commissioning and includes several notable changes. In developing C203–2017, the AIA Documents Committee recognized that professionals from a variety of backgrounds perform commissioning services. Thus, C203–2017 is no longer written as an Architect’s scope of services in the B-Series of documents. Instead, it is neutral as to the professional background of the person or entity who performs the commissioning services and is categorized as a consultant document in the C-Series of documents. An Owner can still use C203 to hire an Architect to perform commissioning services, but it can also be used to hire professionals from other backgrounds to perform these services. 

C203–2017 was also updated to reflect changes in the industry that have taken place since the prior version. For example, C203–2017 now includes: (1) provisions describing the Consultant’s role to assist in preparing the Owner’s Project Requirements; (2) a more detailed description of the Commissioning Plan; (3) updated provisions related to commissioning-related design reviews; and (4) updated provisions related to the Consultant’s role in commissioning during the construction phase of the Project. C203–2017 also includes an expanded Initial Information section and updated provisions for Supplemental Services.


Can an Architect use C203–2017 to provide commissioning services on a building it did not design?

Yes. C203–2017 does not specify the professional background of the person or entity performing the commissioning services. The commissioning provider could potentially be an architect, engineer, or other construction professional.


What elements of a building can be commissioned using C203–2017?

C203–2017 can be used to commission nearly any system or component of a building. Section 1.1.1 requires the parties to identify the systems and assemblies to be commissioned. This can include heating, cooling, refrigeration and ventilation systems, and controls; lighting and day-lighting controls; domestic hot water systems; renewable energy systems; and building enclosure assemblies.


Can an Architect use C2032017 to commission a building it designed?

The AIA Contract Documents Committee drafted C203 to comport with current commissioning practices that discourage design and construction teams from commissioning buildings they designed or built. With this in mind, Section 2.1 states that “The Consultant shall not be a member, employee, or subcontractor of any entity performing design services or construction work on the Project unless the Owner gives the Consultant informed consent, confirmed in writing.”  This does not strictly prohibit a member of the design or construction team from also acting as the commissioning provider on a Project, but it does require full disclosure to, and approval from, the Owner prior to such an arrangement.


Does C203–2017 include services for seasonal, deferred, ongoing, or retroactive commissioning?

The basic services included in C203–2017 is for initial commissioning that occurs during the design and construction phases of a Project. C203 is not intended to be used to commission an existing building, which is often referred to as retroactive commissioning. Ongoing, seasonal, and deferred commissioning are also not a part of the basic services in C203, however, they can be added as Supplemental Services in Article 3.


Can C203–2017 be used to fulfill LEED commissioning requirements?

Yes, C203 can be used to hire a commissioning provider to provide commissioning services to achieve LEED credits. However, care must be taken to understand the particular LEED credits sought, and select the appropriate services in C203–2017. The parties should also identify LEED-related goals in Section 1.1.2.


How do I incorporate commissioning requirements into my Owner/Contractor agreement?

The Owner should incorporate Commissioning Specifications and a Commissioning Plan into the documents that make up the Owner/Contractor agreement. The Owner can use C203, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Commissioning to hire a Consultant to prepare Commissioning Specifications and a Commissioning Plan.


For more information see the summary »

See instructions »

To purchase  »

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Articles in this section

See more
For document related questions:
For technical support:
Our helpline hours:
8:30am - 6:00pm EST Monday to Friday